This crown for your umbrella collects all the water when you stand it upside-down

With a shape that looks like a splash of water and a yellow color that almost gives it the appearance of a mini-crown, the Supporting Umbrella solves two rather annoying problems with the umbrella experience. A. Stability, and B. Water dripping on the floor.

The Supporting Umbrella retrofits onto most umbrella designs with the spoke at the end. It gives your umbrella a cute crown when open in the rain, and when you’re done, lets you stand the umbrella vertically on its tip. When placed vertically upside down, the Supporting Umbrella attachment uses a small concavity to collect all the water that drips off your umbrella, so that you’re not left with a pool of water on the floor every time you try to dry your umbrella out. Rather neat, isn’t it?

The Supporting Umbrella is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Li Purui

These four armchairs come together to form a delightful coffee table

It’s simple, yet unique enough to look different and eye-catching. The Four Quarters are a set of four armchairs that are designed to nest within each other when placed horizontally, forming a pretty nifty wooden coffee table.

Built from solid wood and upholstered with leather to give the seat its comfortable nature, Four Quarters is a shape-shifting furniture concept that lets you have a coffee table in your house, but also surreptitiously hides four extra chairs in your home for when you have guests coming over. The chairs rest on their sides, coming together to form a coffee table, but just lift the individual chair units out and set them upright and you’ve got four extra chairs that were hiding in plain sight!

The Four Quarters is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Maria Dlugoborskaya

The Intermodality writing desk was inspired by the beauty of a grand piano

Inspired by the prominent role and place of grand pianos in homes, the Intermodality desk is just as grand. With a design that follows the cues of the large instrument, the desk comes with a similar shape, size, and even features a large lid that opens sideways, like in a grand piano. Standing on three legs, like the musical instrument, the Intermodality desk is crafted from antiqued plywood, and features copper trimmings near the handles and at the base of the legs, adding a touch of finesse to the desk’s grand design.

The desk comes with five drawers on the front, ample writing space on top, and an additional four storage cabinets at the back, under the lid. The plywood’s 2D nature results in the desk having a chamfered, low-poly origami-esque design rather than curves like a wooden piano. This immediately gives it a sense of differentiation, making it look instantly recognizable but also unique at the same time!

The Intermodality Desk is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Attila Stromajer

Simply twist to convert this regular screwdriver into a 90° screwdriver

Designed for portability, and to get into those tough-to-reach spots, the Right Angle Screwdriver is a neat multi-tool with interchangeable heads and the ability to maneuver itself into difficult spots thanks to its novel design that allows the screwdriver to bend 90°. The miter-joint not only lets you reach screws in recessed places, but the 90° bend even gives you the power to unscrew or screw with much more torque. The size of a pen, the Right Angle Screwdriver is an ideal piece of EDC for the tinkerer, and its multiple heads just extend the product’s versatility!

The Right Angle Screwdriver is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designers: Qian Xiaowei & Ye Xinmin

This carbon fiber hybrid piano has a built-in battery and looks wow

The Exxeo is a hybrid piano that carries an eloquent design that’s crafted out of a material more commonly used within the automotive industry… Carbon Fibre. This breath-taking musical instrument breaks away from the traditional form, with its organically shaped surfaces confidently dancing to create a sculpture-like form.

Effort hasn’t solely been invested into the piano’s aesthetics, but also its acoustic performance is superior to its conventional counterpart. Fast key repetition paired with an enhanced realism system enables the pianist to achieve the softest pianissimo to the boldest fortissimo. This leads to a theatrical experience that is filled with depth and emotion.

Whilst the use of carbon fibre allows for the fluid shape to be possible, it does also have practical benefits; due to its resistance to moisture, it makes Exxeo ideal for humid environments, such as mega-yachts and cruise ships!

The Exxeo Hybrid Piano is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Iman Maghsoudi of EXXEO

“The project was born out of the frustration that static table-like form of traditional pianos, simply didn’t fit into contemporary living environments. We believed that the piano is an obvious part of modern living and should be designed to reflect that fact. Initial concepts developed based on the understanding that Everything in Existence is the result of a Frequency. Sound is the basis of Shape and Form. We were fascinated by harmonic fluence of the sound waves,” Maghsoudi explains to YD.

Exxeo captures the magnificent tone of flagship concert grand pianos. Award-winning soundboard speaker system; Harmonic Imaging™ XL technology, recreates the broad dynamic range of the original grand pianos through the use of a 200 Watts, 9 speaker sound system.

Exxeo is the only hybrid piano in the world equipped with a dedicated built-in battery. The high capacity power unit is mounted in the tail section. It enables the piano to perform up to 20 hours on a single charge.

First we had DIY cardboard VR headsets, now we’ve got DIY cardboard drones!

I love the Ahadrone kit’s DIY touch! Designed to be the “drone for everyone”, it democratizes one of the hottest (and sometimes expensive) categories in consumer electronics. With all the makings of a very capable drone, the Ahadrone is just like any other remote-controlled quadcopter, but it comes with a complete corrugated board body, allowing it to stay light, but stiff, the perfect property for a drone exterior!

Cardboard isn’t new to consumer electronics. The Google Cardboard VR headset, and the cardboard Nintendo Switch Labo kits, have both showcased paper board to be a very capable low-cost solution to plastic parts. The board serves as a great packaging material too, knocking two birds with one stone.. and while it isn’t as permanent as plastic (the Ahadrone wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the rain), with the right template, people can rebuild their own cardboard parts, either out of board, plastic sheets, or even 3D printing them!

And that’s honestly the point of the Ahadrone. It isn’t a toy, but rather is a powerful learning tool that’s also a toy. It teaches you about aerodynamics, structural design, and guides you through the process of putting together a real, flying drone from scratch. Remarkable, isn’t it?!

The Ahadrone kit is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Srinivasulu Reddy

PocketMaker is literally a palm-sized, low-cost 3D printer!

Determined to make 3D printing accessible to all, the PocketMaker was created to be an incredibly competitive, low-cost, value-for-money printer to beat all other printers. Unlike most 3D printers that occupy a good 4-9 sq.ft. of space, the PocketMaker literally occupies the same amount of space as your palm and fingers, and comes with a detachable/replaceable printer head/extruder that you can easily swap when you find the nozzle getting blocked. The PocketMaker comes with plastic rails, not only bringing down the cost, but the weight too, and while plastic-to-plastic movement isn’t as smooth as a metal-on-metal gear/rail system, the PocketMaker’s small size makes up for it, giving you a tiny, low-cost printer that is capable of generating 8*8*8cm prints with no hassle. The PocketMaker works with PLA filament, allowing its baseplate to remain plain (unlike ABS printers that need a heated plate), truly working to create a proper, easy-to-use printer that’s low on space and cost, but high on possibilities!

The PocketMaker is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designers: Lang Qiyue and Yang Tian

This sink adjusts to your water needs

Space isn’t readily available within the tightly packed apartments that make up the urban cities of today, so every square inch of space must be put to optimum use. This is where the benefits of this neat, water-saving sink really shine! This seemingly regular sink houses an adjustable partition plate that can be used to reduce the volume of the sink; this reduction in space doesn’t just limit the amount of water required, but simultaneously creates a draining board, freeing-up valuable space on the workspace.

It’s designs like this sink that makes us question why something so unique and seemingly obvious hasn’t existed before; it solves the space-related issue that is present within the compact homes of many of us whilst also combatting the growing water usage epidemic!

The Water-Saving Sink is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Tsang Ching Pun

Here are the hottest winning-designs from the A’ Design Award 2019

What makes the A’ Design Award stand out from others is its mission statement. It wants to find a common link between great design ACROSS all disciplines, and is committed to being a consortium or a common-ground for all sorts of good design. The A’ Design Award and Competition is more than just an awards program. It actively seeks good design, markets it, brings value to the project as well as the designer in the form of a wide range of value added services like a dedicated PR Campaign, a Gala Night with the world’s biggest design patrons and designers alike, a proof-of-creation document for your work, and even a platform to sell your design on.

The A’ Design Award’s perks aren’t just limited to winning designs, but also to participants. Your participation entitles you to a proof-of-creation document, inclusion in A’ Design’s Business Network, and the Design Fee Calculator service that lets you accurately price your design services for clients.

Judged by a grand jury of 209 elite designers and educators, here are a select few of A’ Design Award and Competition 2019’s winners. We’ve hand-picked some of our favorites from this year’s list of winners spanning categories such as Product Design, Lighting Design, Architecture, Furniture, Medical, and Social Design. Scroll down below to have a look at what’s making the waves this year in the design circuit! And don’t forget to register below to participate in the Competition next year to make the most of the opportunities that the A’ Design Award promises!

Grab an Early-bird Registration for A’ Design Awards 2020 by clicking here!

YD Handpicks: Winning Designs from A’ Design Awards 2018-19

01. RoType Flexible Keyboard by Royole

The RoType is a neat, rollable keyboard. Unlike those hideous flexible silicone/TPU keyboards that you now find on novelty gadget shops, the RoType is slick, professional, and classy. With a miraculously transparent keyboard that embraces and becomes the surface you place it on, the RoType feels sort of like typing on air. The keyboard uses a special film which contains a hidden circuit. With a transparency of 92%, and a thickness of a dazzling 0.04mm, the RoType flexes, stretches and curls multiple times without deformation. The flexible hidden circuit allows you to type by simply touching the keys, giving it an incredibly feathery UX… and when not in use, rolls right back into the RoType’s robust metal case, which is practically 1/10th the size of a regular keyboard!

02. Hexa Passenger Drone by Maform Design

We’ve all secretly waited for drones to be powerful enough to lift humans, haven’t we? While VTOLs are still somewhere in the near future, the Hexa passenger drone is a pretty plausible concept that demonstrates how a drone that lifts a human could look. With 18 propellers arranged in two circles (12 outside, 6 inside), the Hexa has a flight time of around half an hour. Where would one be able to travel in that much time? Maform Design thinks the Hexa isn’t a transportation device but an experience device. Designed to give you the experience of piloting a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, Hexa’s all about allowing riders to experience the thrill and adrenaline of drone flight! Maybe with advancing battery technologies we’ll see the Hexa turning into a proper short-distance transport solution!

03. Right Angle Screwdriver by Qian Xiaowei and Ye Xinmin

Designed for portability, and to get into those tough-to-reach spots, the Right Angle Screwdriver is a neat multi-tool with interchangeable heads and the ability to maneuver itself into difficult spots thanks to its novel design that allows the screwdriver to bend 90°. The miter-joint not only lets you reach screws in recessed places, but the 90° bend even gives you the power to unscrew or screw with much more torque. The size of a pen, the Right Angle Screwdriver is an ideal piece of EDC for the tinkerer, and its multiple heads just extend the product’s versatility!

04. The Barisieur by Josh Renouf

The Barisieur is a concept that’s definitely garnered its deserving share of interest. Featured on YD as a conceptual one-of-a-kind product years ago, the Barisieur has developed a lot over time, becoming the award-winning product it is today. What is it? Basically the best alarm clock ever made, because rather than jolting you out of sleep with an alarming noise, it gently and effectively awakens your senses by brewing you a fine cup of coffee! The alarm is hooked to a water heater which transfers the water to a pour-over coffee filter that decants your brew as you awake to the aroma of coffee. Paired with a small vessel of milk on the side (and a tray for storing your sugar), the Barisieur proposes perhaps the most effective way to get you out of bed. With a hot cuppa!

05. Twig Dumbbells by Ji Hoon Lee

When you think about it, a twig-shaped dumbbell is rather ironic, right? The word twig is often used to describe skinny or scrawny arms or legs, while on the other hand dumbbells, well, they help bulk up arms. The Twig dumbbells are an innovative dumbbell design by Ji Hoon Lee. With a handle and three prongs on each side, the weight of these dumbbells can be changed simply by switching the prongs.
The prongs or branches of the Twig are individual weights. Different prongs come with different weights and you can simply switch them to make each individual Twig heavier or lighter… although they’re sure to always look visually light, thanks to their twig-like form. Wait! That’s probably the idea! To get you to psychologically lift more by fooling your eyes into thinking you’re lifting tiny, weightless branches! Pretty clever!

06. Sidekick Notebook by Tan Mavitan

The Sidekick is quirky, but has logic to it. An A5 notebook looks small on your desk, but open it and it doubles in size, becoming an A4, and occupying precious real estate on your desk. The Sidekick has no such problem. Its unusual shape and diagonal spine allows it to open into an ‘L’ shaped notebook that can easily sit at the corner of your keyboard, or your mousepad, or even tablet. The notebook won’t serve well for sketching, but makes a good note-taking pad, offering both landscape and portrait writing areas. Take notes, make doodles, or probably even sketch on it if you can, the Sidekick is that one notebook you won’t buy and put away only because you’ll love keeping it on your table to occasionally take notes, and to perpetually show off.

07. Tsutsumu Card Holder by Hirotaka Satoh

It’s incredible what one can achieve out of a single piece of leather. The Tsutumu card holder is made from a stamped piece of leather. That’s literally the only production process it went through (aside from the branding being stamped into it too). No glue, no stitches, no rivets. Just pure leather. Basing itself on the Japanese culture of wrapping valued items carefully (google Furoshiki), the Tsutumu comes flat-packed and can easily be folded into shape. Its design ensures it holds its shape while holding cards within it too!
Elegant, simple, stylish, and differently vibrant, the Tsutumu cases wrap around your cards in a way that looks beautiful and unusual. The leather ages with time, gathering a beautiful patina, but the case itself lives on for years and years!

08. Kurio Modular Shelfing System by Markus Hofko

Designed like a breadboard that you plug electrical elements into, the Kurio Modular Shelfing System comes with a universal base-platform that you plug planes into, to make shelves. Based on the size and quantity of items you want to keep on your shelf, you can build any layout you choose by simply plugging pieces together. Made from aluminum, the Kurio doesn’t use additional fixtures like screws or glue, just good old mechanical joineries that allow the planes to be pulled apart and rearranged whenever you choose!

09. Symphony Number 7 Chair by Chen Ting-Hsiang

Similar in spirit to the Butterfly Chair by Eduardo Garcia Campos, the Symphony 7 Chair is inspired by the softness and sweetness of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven. The rocking chair is made from a pipe frame, and comes with leather cushioning, combining comfort, strength, and an incredibly organic skeletal design that makes for a great silhouette. The chair looks even beautiful when paired together with another of its kind, creating a beautiful symmetry!

10. Grid Table by Mian Wei

Made entirely of interlocking wooden pieces, the Grid Table takes inspiration from Chinese wooden structures called Dougongs (Dou Gong). Dougong is essential to the timber frame structure of traditional Chinese building, as it binds the roof, girders and pillars together to distribute weight evenly. The Grid table brings that approach to table-design, with its top-heavy-yet-stable construction that does a great job of distributing the table’s weight, while also turning the Dougong construction technique into an artform, with its wonderful, Jenga-esque geometric aesthetic!

Grab an Early-bird Registration for A’ Design Awards 2020 by clicking here!